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Sundance Institute Announces 10 Writers for First Episodic Story Lab

The Sundance Institute has announced the 10 writers selected to participate in its inaugural Episodic Story Lab, which will take place at the Sundance Resort in Utah from Sept. 27 through Oct. 2.

Writers selected for the program include Desiree Akhavan (“Switch Hitter”), Peter Biegen (“Small Change”), Nate Crocker (“Scar Tissue”), Katori Hall (“The Dial”), Barry Jenkins (“Radical”), Nick Keetch (“Borderline”), Lisa Kron (“The Schaeffers”), Crystal Liu (“The White Sheep”), Heather Marion (“Bury Me”) and Matt Young (“Still”).

Each applicant for the program submitted a spec pilot and series overview as a basis for the work they will do in the lab. The writers will work with a group of showrunners, television executives and producers under Michelle Satter, founding director of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.

“The selected writers are telling distinctive and dynamic stories in a range of genres and formats,” said Satter. “It is exciting and humbling to support the creative journey of these talented writers who will work closely with accomplished showrunners to refine, challenge and advance their work and understanding of multi-episode storytelling.”

“Independent thinking continues to drive our culture in new ways and nowhere is it more evident than within the changing landscape of storytelling,” said Robert Redford, Sundance Institute president and founder. “It is with this in mind that we created the Sundance Episodic Story Lab to provide a creative place for  writers to explore new territory.”

Executive director Keri Putnam said, “Our Episodic Story Lab is a rare opportunity for independent artists to develop unique multi-part projects and learn how to navigate the changing landscape of this field. We are grateful to the community of established television writers and professionals for lending their support and expertise to this next generation of artists with unique and diverse voices.”

Established with the help of Lyn and Norman Lear, the lab is the institute’s first program for emerging writers creating new series for television and online platforms.

Following the lab, the writers will receive year-round support including advice, mentors and networking opportunities from creative advisors and industry mentors that include showrunners, executive producers and execs.

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